The Ashley Book of Knots

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Doubleday, 1944 - Sports & Recreation - 620 pages
4 Reviews
This is the definitive book on knots. Here are approximately 3900 different kinds, from simple hitches to "Marlingspike Seamanship." Mr. Ashley has included almost everything there is to know about them. Precisely named and classified (some new ones for the first time officially), they can be easily found in the big index. He tells when they appeared, something about their history, and what they are good for.
Above all, Mr. Ashley gives explicit directions on how to tie them. He describes each step simply and clearly in the text and has penned right alongside some 7000 drawings to make it still more graphic. This book and a piece of cord will open a new and challenging world of practical adventure to readers of all ages.
There are many distinctive features to this informal encyclopedia. Outstanding are the delightful sketches and illustrations by the author that enliven every page. Mr. Ashley, a prominent marine artist, is at his best here.
Sailors have been the greatest experimenters with rope, but since they have no monopoly on the art, the author describes knots used in over ninety other occupations. These range alphabetically from Archer to Yachtsman, and aesthetically from Florist to Hangman. The forty-one chapters include knots classed under such general types as "Hooks, Beckets, and Toggles," "The Noose," and "Tricks and Puzzles."
Mr. Ashley has devoted eleven years to writing this book, and it is based on forty years of looking for, trying out, and thinking up new knots. His drawings abound in humor and the text is full of colorful anecdotes. THE ASHLEY BOOK OF KNOTS will make a unique and permanent addition to any library.

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If I were to be stranded on a deserted island, this is the one item I would want with me. You will never exhaust the possibilities within this book as I have been studying it for 40 years and am nowhere near close to being a master of this book. I am now shopping to buy a copy for my nephew who follows in my footsteps, it seems, poor soul.
The only knot that is not found within this book that you need to learn is the dirigible knot, invented after publication, the single most useful bend I have ever encountered.

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There is not a knot, that is not in Ashley's book of Knots.

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About the author (1944)

CLIFFORD W. ASHLEY had two ruling passions all his life: marine painting and knot tying. A student of Howard Pyle's, he is represented in the permanent collections of museums and libraries all along the East Coast. At the time of his death he was one of the world's leading authorities on knot tying. Both these interests kept him close to the open sea, and when he wasn't trading knot knowledge with sailors, his easel was set up on wharves, decks, or shorelines.

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